Six hours of supplemental material will include the director's first audio commentary

By Gary Susman
Updated June 25, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Samuel L. Jackson, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Jedi wannabes, start lining up now. The ”Star Wars” saga will finally hit DVD on October 16 with the release of ”Star Wars — Episode One: The Phantom Menace.” No word on when the original trilogy will come out on disc, but this film should sate fans for a while, since it’ll come with a whopping six hours of supplemental material. Included in the two-disc set, which will retail at $29.98, will be George Lucas’ first-ever audio commentary for a ”Star Wars” movie, a 12-part Internet documentary series, and seven incomplete scenes that didn’t make it into the theatrical or VHS versions.

Still, some fans wonder if Lucas shouldn’t emulate the makers of two underground re-edits of ”Episode One” that have been circulating among the faithful. ”The Phantom Edit,” made by an unidentified Los Angeles fan (who has denied rumors that he’s Kevin Smith), shortens the movie by about 20 minutes, eliminating much of the Jar Jar Binks footage and rearranging other scenes to make young Anakin, the future Darth Vader, seem more ominous. ”The Phantom Re-Edit: Episode 1.1,” made by two guys in New York working with a third guy in L.A., also fixes scenes with Jar Jar Binks and other non-human creatures — who seemed like unflattering racial caricatures to many viewers — by replacing their spoken dialects with alien speech translated by subtitles, as in the original trilogy. The re-edits have Lucas’ blessing, so long as their creators don’t actually copy and distribute them. A Lucasfilm spokesperson says, ”We’ve always encouraged our fans to have fun with ‘Star Wars,’ but we do draw the line when they start duplicating and selling.”

Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace

  • Movie
  • PG
  • 134 minutes
  • George Lucas